|Lyrics by:||Leslie Fish|
|Story Source:||Presumed Original|
|Music by:||Leslie Fish|
|Recorded on:||Chickasaw Mountain|
"The Challenger" is sung from the perspective of a hero who is reborn into life after life to defeat their tyrant archnemesis.
The story is presumed to be original to the song. In a twist on the classical fantasy trope, instead of the reborn hero-king, this story features a reborn hero-anarchist.
When I was a child I dreamed, But they were not dreams at all: Of far off lands, of far off times, Of watching kingdoms rise and fall. Other bodies and names I had, But always the same work to do: Always artisan, warrior, witch; I never thought the dreams were true. Slowly through the years I learned: Hands that ached to hold a pen, A rebel's soul no orders held, and vision into minds of men. At last I read in ancient book, and saw what I had always known; Then I knew that the dreams were true, For the tale it told was once my own. Why do I come circling back? Slowly did the memories clear, Of ancient wars, of friends and foes, But never of my purpose here. Still I sharpened my threefold skills, For use in some unknown game, Only knowing that age upon age, My enemy was still the same. Patterns that repeat I see, Faster through the world they skew, The stars come right, the fates take flight, and all the missing dreams come true. Whatever battle the gods prepare, For artistry, for weapons, or for mind: There I haste, for the answer waits, The purpose I was born to find. Then I saw the armies march, Saw him raise his power high; He preached obey, he practiced rule, And fattened on the ancient lie. His wheedling words, his mystic might, His ultimately iron hand, His promised hell, I know them well; Finally I understand. Master of the secret dark, Are you so surprised to see, The ancient foe, you should well know, Come to spoil your victory? Is your memory worse than mine? Or wouldn't you believe that it was true? That I have hunted the ages down, Fated to come after you.